NM ranks fourth in US for COVID deaths per capita - Albuquerque Journal

NM ranks fourth in US for COVID deaths per capita

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico reported 28 more COVID-19 deaths and more than 6,900 new cases – a figure that reflects cases from several days after a disruption in reporting.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said about 3,540 of the 6,900 cases may be attributed to reporting lags.

About 1,000 were reported a day late because of a glitch in an electronic feed, and another 2,540 were from one lab that was catching up after 12 days.

The test positivity rate for New Mexico climbed to 27.4% over the last seven days, about 1 percentage point higher than the figure reported Tuesday.

The state’s COVID-19 death toll inched up to 6,073 residents. Of the 28 new fatalities, 10 happened more than 30 days ago but were reported Wednesday because of a delay in processing death certificates.

New Mexico ranks fourth in the nation for the number of COVID-19 deaths per capita over the last week, according to federal data released Wednesday.

The state has had about 7.1 deaths per 100,000 people over the last seven days, ranking behind just three states. Indiana is first, followed by Delaware and then Pennsylvania.

People who aren’t fully vaccinated make up a disproportionate share of the deaths – about 92% of the virus fatalities over the last month. They also made up about 60% of the cases and 83% of hospitalizations, according to state data.

The state defines someone as not fully vaccinated if they either haven’t received any vaccine or if it’s been less than two weeks since they had a Johnson & Johnson shot or the second of the two doses required for Moderna or Pfizer.

The recent surge in cases – fueled by the contagious omicron variant – has pushed some schools back into remote learning, at least temporarily.

Hospitals leaders in Albuquerque warned this week they’re operating above capacity and, in some cases, treating patients in hallways or a tent as the COVID-19 patients add to an already heavy load.

New Mexico reported 569 coronavirus patients in state hospitals Wednesday, a 3% decrease over the last day.

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